Bizarre beauty contests

Winners of the Miss Perfect Posture contest at chiropractors convention in Chicago, May 1956, pose with their trophies and x-rays

Marianne Baba, Lois Conway and Ruth Swensen, winners of the Miss Perfect Posture contest at a national chiropractors convention in Chicago, May 1956. (Image via NPR; click on image for more great photographs of this contest).

Contestants of the Miss Lovely Eyes competition (Florida, 1930s) pose with creepy face blocking masks.

Miss Lovely Eyes Contest, Florida, 1930s. (Image via Buzzfeed).

Lobster king Harry Hackney with his Lobster Waitresses, who won the prize in Atlantic City's famous beauty pageant parade, date unknown.

Lobster king Harry Hackney with his Lobster Waitresses, who won the prize in Atlantic City’s famous beauty pageant parade, date unknown. (Image via X-ray delta one on Flickr).

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Symposium: Contemporary Art’s Confrontation With the Monstrous, 4 December 2012, Amsterdam Museum

Zoe Leonard, 'Preserved Head of a Bearded Woman, Musee Orfila', 1991. From a series of five silver gelatin prints. Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Zoe Leonard, ‘Preserved Head of a Bearded Woman, Musee Orfila’, 1991. From a series of five silver gelatin prints. Centre Pompidou, Paris.

If anyone happens to be in Amsterdam this week, I will be giving a paper on Zoe Leonard’s series Preserved Head of a Bearded Woman, Musée Orfila (1991) at a symposium entitled  ‘Contemporary Art’s Confrontation With the Monstrous‘. The symposium is taking place at the Amsterdam Museum (Filmzaal) from 10am-5pm, on Tuesday, 4 December 2012. The event is being organized by Dr Kathryn Brown at Tilburg University, and includes an exciting array of speakers, including keynote by Dr Petra Lange-Berndt (who also runs the fantastic Preserved! blog out of UCL). Registration fee is €15/€10 students (includes lunch and refreshments); to register, please email: info@onderzoekschoolkunstgeschiedenis.nl.